• Brent-James Pinder

Covid-19 continues to rise in Bury!

Coronavirus restrictions must remain until we get the rate down

Health and council leaders say that Bury should remain under extra restrictions until the number of new Covid-19 cases comes down.

With Bury having one of the highest infection rates in England and rising – and being three times the national average – they agree with the Government that now is not the right time to lift measures and allow households to mix indoors.

Today (28/8/20), the Government is lifting three more Greater Manchester districts – Trafford, Bolton and Stockport – out of local restrictions due to falling infection rates in those boroughs.

Bury’s rate, however, has risen for the sixth consecutive week and now stands at 35.2 per 100,000 population. These numbers are likely to be even higher as not everyone notices their symptoms or gets tested.

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We all want the Government to lift restrictions in Bury as soon as possible, but we accept that they must continue – our infection rate is increasing while the rate is falling elsewhere. It’s clear and simple – if cases don’t start to fall, we risk going back into lockdown. Unfortunately, too many people (who are not exempt) are not wearing masks in shops, are still meeting up in large groups from several households, and not keeping two metres apart. A few then catch the virus, and bring it home to spread among their families. The council and the police are carrying out enforcement of the restrictions, visiting a range of bars and restaurants and giving advice and in some cases warnings to premises which needed to toughen up their covid-safe arrangements. We have also contacted all the supermarkets in Bury reminding them of their responsibilities and the need to enforce the wearing of face masks unless people are exempt. But ultimately the only thing that will work is for people to take responsibility for their actions and follow the guidance and the law. With schools and colleges about to reopen next week, it’s essential that we all work together to reduce the risks of transmission.”

The council is responsible for ensuring that premises are operating in accordance with the Covid-19 safety guidelines – any breaches can be reported to the email address for pubs and bars and for wider businesses.

Complaints regarding breaches of the law, such as households meeting each other indoors or in private gardens, should be reported to the police through their 111 number.

Cllr Simpson said the number of new coronavirus cases was spread evenly across all five neighbourhood areas in Bury.

“Some may argue that very small areas in Bury could have the restrictions lifted, but this is a recipe for confusion. If you lived in Elton, for example, would you know where the boundary was with Church ward? The virus knows no boundaries, and everyone from Ramsbottom down to Sedgley Park must unite to get the infection rate down.”

The restrictions in Bury are:

• you must not meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden.

• you must not visit someone else’s home or garden - even if they live outside the affected areas.

• you should not socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions.

Everyone (unless exempt) must also wear face coverings in shops/supermarkets, public transport, banks and post offices, cinemas/theatres, places of workshop, libraries/museums and community centres.

Wash your hands frequently and stay two metres apart wherever possible.

Lesley Jones, Bury’s director of public health, said: “Household transmission remains an important source of new infections, as people spread the virus they caught in the community to their families.

“Those aged 18-39 account for more than half of the new cases in Bury, and the percentage of positive tests has also increased.

“It is essential that people take part in the track and trace system, and self-isolate and get tested if they are contacted.

“We are shortly to open seven walk-in testing centres across the borough, which will make it easier for those without transport to be tested.

“Above all, this virus is spread through close contact with someone who is infected – just like other viruses such as the flu and common cold. That’s why it’s essential to maintain social distancing and exercise good hand hygiene.”

The Government has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions on what you can and cannot do:


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